Does Your Child Have Sleep Apnea?

As a parent, it is natural to want to give your child every advantage in life. You want them to grow up happy and healthy, but that goal comes with complications. If you’ve noticed your little one seems more tired than usual, is falling behind academically, or even shows signs of hyperactivity, then it may be time to do a little sleep observation. Time to find out if your child has sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is almost exclusively associated with obese adults. However, the condition affects a much wider swath of society. Even children, usually between the ages of two and eight, can develop this sleeping disorder. Therefore, if your child is acting like they aren’t getting enough sleep, then they probably aren’t.

Next time you tuck them into bed, wait a few minutes for them to drift off. If they begin to snore loudly, then obstructive sleep apnea is a real possibility, and you should seek the advice of a pediatric sleep doctor immediately. Even if they aren’t snoring, watch for other tell-tale signs of this sleep disorder. You may notice that your child appears to be sleeping in an odd position or that they exclusively breathe out of their mouth.

Additionally, chronic bed-wetting, coughing, and night terrors may also require a visit to your doctor. Your child may have central sleep apnea, a condition where a portion of the brain isn’t sending the right signals to your child’s lungs and diaphragm.

Should You Be Concerned?

If you are suspicious that your child may have sleep apnea, then don’t panic. With help from a licensed professional, the condition is easily treatable once it is diagnosed. However, that doesn’t mean you should wait. Every day that your child struggles with sleep apnea is another day that they are exhausted during the day. Depending on how long they’ve had the condition, the fatigue can be extreme.

You can remember how tired you were when you first brought them home from the hospital. Do you remember what it was like to feel like you were never rested? You were a little slower. Things were a little harder to learn. You may have even been more irritable. That is precisely what your child is going through.

Left untreated, sleep apnea could eventually affect your child’s ability to keep up in school. And it can prevent them from building necessary social skills. In fact, as many as 25% of children diagnosed with ADHD were actually found to have symptoms more likely caused by sleep apnea. To create a positive future for your child, it is imperative that you take steps to diagnose and treat sleep apnea in its earliest days.

Where to Start: Sleep Doctor NYC

In order to put your child on the path to a better night’s sleep, arrange a consultation with a sleep doctor in NYC that specializes in sleep disorders. The doctor will need to evaluate your child’s sleeping patterns, but you can improve this process by tracking any symptoms you notice yourself. Once your child’s doctor has been able to diagnose their sleep disorder, you can proceed with sleep apnea treatment in NYC. If it is sleep apnea, then a customized mandibular advancement device may be prescribed to help your child sleep peacefully.

Of course, small children may not always respond well to an oral device. Feel free to discuss your concerns with your doctor before they arise. You can come up with positive action plans that will encourage your child to accept treatment. If you have any other questions regarding pediatric sleep disorders, then speak with your doctor. Your child’s health and future depend on the steps you take to address their disorder.

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